THQ in Montreal

THQ is opening a huge studio in Montreal. That link is the news story that tried to distill the information in this interview with Danny Bilson. The reasoning for a new studio in Montreal is pretty straight-forward: lots of talent locally, and (more importantly) a huge tax incentive for the studio. Game companies are having to spend enormous wads of cash on games now to get gamers to play them, and a 37.5% tax break is a HUGE incentive. Business go where they can do the work they do the cheapest, and Bilson encourages States here south of Canada to do more to entice companies to make bases in their cities. I’ll leave the eco-political remainder of that idea alone.

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Quick Thought

I don’t really have a lot of vested stock in the outcome of SW:TOR. I’m sure I’ll play it. I loved the KotOR games, but I’m meh so far on Dragon Age, and finding it near impossible to continue with it after a certain point. I’m a SciFi nerd and Star Wars fan, so all that combined means I’m going to give it a whirl as well. What it ends up being or how well it ends up doing, is not going to be a huge impactor on me, except as a person who is interested in gaming and MMOs as a whole.

Still, there’s a part of me that wants it to just do absolutely brilliant monetarily. A part of me wants it to blow the doors off of everyone’s home and kick the snot out of doubters. Not because I have a desire for it to be great for my own enjoyment, but just because I’m sick of hearing everyone jump on the bandwagon of gloom.

So, while Ardwulf calculates failure, Tobold predict’s it, Syncaine prays for it, and Keen’s probably off in a corner somewhere twitching with anticipatory glee for it’s release, that will only turn into full-on contempt two month’s later when he realizes it’s not WoW, all the while continuing to refuse to accept reality; that he’s not a PvPer.

Being negative about upcoming games is the new, cool, hip thing to do. Honestly, I don’t think the market has room for all of these big games, but I hope it does, and I hope SWTOR blows everyone’s expectations to the Jupiter, and slaps said expectations in the face for being negative Nancys.

Quote of the Day

It’s the idea that the developers behind any given game are an idiots. According to commenters, they’re all blind, non-gamer morons, bumbling around in the dark without the slightest sense of what game mechanics are actually fun.

Why are these bumbling morons in the industry? Why don’t they listen to the endless array of golden ideas that pop up on game forums? Don’t they realize that these revolutionary ideas will turn every game into double-rainbow-crapping unicorns?

-Seraphina Brennan, on Massively.

Lego Universe is still out there

This is a great read for how a game company views the creation and maintenance of an MMO. It’s a good read if you’re interested in the industry at all for that matter.

A fun-sucking vampire

why do you hate funRobert Kotick.

I stumbled on this article thanks to Syp’s “Quote of the Day“. I thought surely, the quote was a tongue in cheek statement, with the guy actually fostering a great working environment (I know next to nothing about Activision). No, it turns out the guy really is that much of a jackass. I don’t play the CoD games, and I bought Rock Band (the superior product). Still, even that I haven’t played in months. The games are fun, but already past their prime. One of the commentors did an excellent job of drawing a corollary between Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. Niche products whose popularity is on the decline.

Really, the article is a fun read, if for nothing more than the comments.

The Blame Game

blameThe title of this post will probably be deceptive. I’m not going to be laying blame at anyone’s feet for anything. Or at least, I’m going to try. Nay, instead, I’d like to talk about the way people lay blame at other’s feet, and how this pertains to our collective hobby; video-gaming.

It’s a commonly accepted fact that we all love to play video games. We become passionate about them, and spend lots of time involved in them. This becomes even more true when you look at the genre of MMOs. In regular console games, most have an end-point, a finale where the player can watch the credits and the exult in the glorious completion of whatever story they were taking part in. That’s not to say that console games don’t try to have re-playability in other ways. They use a lot of tools to give the player post-completion gameplay alternatives. Whether these choices are multiplayer co-op/competition (FPS and such), unlocks, harder difficulties, or a change in story based on choices made in-game varies from title to title, but most games launch with this already implemented. Companies realize that they need to keep the gamer happy, talking about, and playing their game. This level of euphemism helps carry them onto the inevitable sequel if they did their job right.

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